The authenticity trap.
For by (Jesus) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—

all things were created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16

Every disappointment I have — every time hope fails me — every seed of discontentment that sprouts up – these heartaches grow out of the cracks where I don’t believe this.

Every grief comes from believing all things were created through Him — but for me.

When my husband doesn’t heal me.

When my children don’t mirror back my expectations.

When my work doesn’t bring satisfaction.

When my friends, my plans or my religion lets me down.

When I am not the girl I want to be.

There is a devastating wheel we run around when we believe things were created through him but for us. We shrink life to the goal of finding out who we are. We see and compare and contrast ourselves (or our marriage or living rooms or children) to ideals. We make plans to be better, stronger, faster, more.

We falter.

So we get up and wear out our souls with new articles and pins and willpower and hopes. And we do this again and again and again, until we can no longer find the strength to stand and fall and fail.

The only place we have to land – the only way we can make things make sense – the only way our secret belief that things were created through him but for us can possibly be true – is by reaching for the only philosophical drink left on the shelf.

I’ll be okay with who I am.

It feels like grace going down, this cool potion of authenticity. I’ll just be who I am, and the world has to accept that.

And Satan’s trap door shuts. We’re stuck, finished, stagnant – exhausted by our strivings and buried in our sins, but strangled by our own lifeline of self-acceptance.

Being satisfied with who we are keeps us from being who we were made to be.

Created by Him and for Him.

God’s Word and this world are the story of I AM.

It is never — not once — not in a single letter or verse — about discovering who I am apart from who He is.

This knowledge is the place of true rest between the treadmill of striving and the poisonous relaxation of authenticity. I was created for Christ, to do with as He pleases, whether He chooses me for greatness or smallness, success or failure, life or death, to bring Himself glory.

I belong to Him. He has said I am not okay as I am, but that it doesn’t matter. He has smashed the cycle of self-improvement and the prison of self-acceptance with His grace.

Lasting joy comes from becoming more like Him, not more like me.